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Peugeot workers march against job cuts

Hundreds of workers from PSA Peugeot Citroen demonstrated in central Paris Thursday to denounce the French auto giant's plans to shed 8,000 jobs across France.

Peugeot workers march against job cuts
Photo: Nathan Jongewaard

Organisers said about 800 workers marched from the city's central Saint Lazare railway station, voicing their anger at the planned closure of an
emblematic plant at Aulnay, north of Paris.

They shouted "No to Aulnay's closure" and "A billion in its bank accounts and PSA wants to close".

The protest came as President Francois Hollande met union members and promised three-tier negotiations involving the state, management and unions.

A damning government-sponsored report said Europe's second-biggest automaker which recently entered a limited alliance with General Motors of the United States, had to revamp urgently and and tie up with a global group after posting sweeping losses.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, which is not controlled by the French state and in which the Peugeot family keeps a strong voting interest, has dropped out of the Paris CAC 40 leading stock index and been beset by poor sales.

Struggling with losses from falling European sales which account for about 50% of total sales, Peugeot this summer shocked France by announcing it planned to cut 8,000 jobs and close the historic Aulnay plant.

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STRIKES

French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.

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